An Open Letter from the Board President
To the Member Owners and Customers of River City Food Co-op,
On behalf of the Board of Directors, and from my heart, many thanks to those who were able to join us at our meeting on Saturday, 10/24/15. The conversation was filled with optimism, support, relevant questions and ideas, empathy, and dare I say, excitement for our future.
For those of you unable to participate in the meeting, allow me to summarize:
Due to ongoing financial challenges and a shift in the co-op organic market landscape, RCFC is in a place of vulnerability – a place that is not sustainable from a business perspective. With our reduced revenue stream, our ability to make payroll and to pay vendors is compromised. Without a sound business plan and a viable budget—which have not yet been crafted—we cannot ask or expect to receive loans, either from member-owners or banks. Fundamental changes are needed in all aspects of Operations (leadership, management, infrastructure), and it is apparent that we will benefit from a reinvention of our beloved Co-op.
To that end, the Board of Directors has recommended that we begin a transition period, during which time the store would close in a retail capacity. This recommendation was explored and discussed at the meeting and ultimately the recommendation was wholeheartedly embraced by those in attendance. This yet undetermined time frame will allow us to rebuild / reorganize / reinvent / rebirth as we:
* Revise Board and Management leadership
* Write the business plan/budget
* Grow owner-membership
* Rewrite bylaws with an eye to revise membership and discount policies
* Pursue grants and loans via a capital campaign
* Write Governance policies
While attendance at the meeting was robust and attendees expressed positive excitement for the future, empathy was expressed for staff members who will be out of a job during this time. If you are aware of employment opportunities, please keep them in mind and share directly, or via email: rivercityfoodcoop.evansville@gmail.
Evident at the meeting was that our community of member-owners and customers is thriving, and that there is a tremendous amount of support as we move into our future of reinvention / reorganization. There is much work to be done. Additional emails will be sent soliciting your volunteerism to help us with the tasks to be completed—tasks that will be fueled by human capital and by your commitment to the our Co-op community and to the Cooperative model of commerce.
Robin Mallery, RCFC Board President